Donald Trump sells gem of Empire hotel amid conflict of interest investigation

Donald Trump’s flagship hotel in Washington, DC, is set to sell for $ 375 million, following reports the company is losing money and amid an ongoing investigation into its lease of the hotel by the federal government.

The Wall Street Journal reported that The Trump Organization has reached an agreement with the CGI Merchant Group investment fund to purchase the lease for the Trump International Hotel, located a short distance from the White House.

As part of the deal, CGI Merchant Group is expected to remove Trump’s name from the hotel, which was a key gathering place for supporters and allies during his tenure as president.

The move follows previous reports that the hotel lost more than $ 70 million while Trump was in power.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform found in October that the Trump Organization had injected $ 27 million from other parts of the business and had to enlist the help of a major lender to delay payments a loan of 170 million dollars.

Trump opened the hotel in 2016 as a Republican candidate for president. When he was elected president, he resigned from his companies in order to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

However, he handed over the management of his businesses, including his hotels, to a company run by his children, Eric and Donald Trump Jr.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform has since investigated whether there were any conflicts of interest after the General Services Administration (GSA) allowed the Trump International Hotel to maintain its lease on the old building of the post office, which was assigned in 2013, when Trump became President.

In 2019, an iInspector Generalort alleged that GSA lawyers “ignored the Constitution” in deciding to maintain the hotel’s lease.

In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, a spokesperson said the House committee would continue to investigate “conflicts of interest and potential constitutional violations raised by Donald Trump’s rental of this hotel to the federal government” while he was president.

“This will not be fully resolved by selling this hotel. “

In a statement to News week, a GSA spokesperson said: “To date, we have not been formally notified by the tenant of their intention to transfer their leasehold interest to the old post office.”

Even before the pandemic hit, the Trump Internal Hotel was already in financial trouble. According to audited financial statements seen by The Associated Press, the hotel lost nearly $ 50 million between 2016 and 2019 and nearly $ 22 million in 2020.

The Trump organization denied the allegations, describing the committee’s report as “continued political harassment in a desperate attempt to mislead the American public and defame Trump in pursuing their own agenda.”

The hotel would also suffer a loss of revenue now that Trump is no longer president as people no longer feel the need to stay there.

Kevin Chaffee, editor of Washington Life magazine, said The Guardian in March: “The Trump Hotel has been in trouble for some time, and without it being there people don’t need to curry favor by staying there.” Some embassies have organized their events there and they don’t need to do it now. “

He added: “The bar was like the White House brothel, but these people have no reason to meet and try to find out what’s going on there because the man is gone. must therefore be like a ghost town. “

The Trump Organization has been contacted for comment.

Donald Trump would sell his hotel in DC, the property once touted as the crown jewel of his real estate empire.
Noam Galai-WireImage / Sean Rayford / Getty Images

Update 11/15/2021, 10:41 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with comments from the GSA.

Source link